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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


GUIMARAES, Lucinda Calheiros et al. Morphological changes in the digestive system of 93 human immunodeficiency virus positive patients: an autopsy study. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.2, pp.89-94. ISSN 1678-9946.

Involvement of the digestive system in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is frequent and many changes in these patients are diagnosed only at autopsy. There are few studies of autopsy with detailed analysis of this system and only one was conducted in Brazil. We evaluated each segment of the digestive system in 93 consecutive autopsies of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the importance of these lesions to death. Of these, 90 (96.8%) patients had AIDS. We reviewed medical records, autopsy reports and histological sections from tongue to rectum stained with hematoxylin-eosin. When necessary, we analyzed special stains and immunohistochemistry to investigate infections. There was damage to the digestive system in 73 (78.5%) cases. The most common infections were candidiasis (42%), cytomegalovirus (29%), histoplasmosis (11.8%), toxoplasmosis (9.7%) and mycobacterial infection (9.7%). Malignancies were rare, present in four (4.3%) cases (two Kaposi's sarcoma, one adenocarcinoma and one metastatic embryonal carcinoma). All segments showed lesions: tongue (48.6%), esophagus (44.8%), stomach (44.7%), colon (43.2%) and small intestine (28.9%). The lesions found were immediate cause of death in five (5.4%) cases. In another 36 (38.7%) cases the basic disease was systemic and also compromised the digestive system.

Keywords : Autopsy; Pathology; HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Digestive system; Gastrointestinal tract.

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